With host Jerry Mathers, the star of the original Leave It to Beaver TV series, Getting Around — Alternatives for Seniors Who No Longer Drive tackles the challenge of developing mobility options and helping older, at-risk drivers plan for and transition to life-after-driving. Santa Monica, California, was the site of the 2003 Farmer’s Market tragedy, in which a confused 82-year old driver slammed on the gas pedal instead of the brake as he careened through a crowded open-air produce market, killing ten and injuring scores more. In response to this tragedy, Monika White, CEO of the Santa Monica-based, non-profit Center for Healthy Aging enlisted us in a national effort to educate Americans about planning for the day when driving is no longer feasible.
This documentary is one outgrowth of that effort. Focusing on the mobility needs of our nation’s elders, this 30-minute program chronicles the challenges that older drivers and their families face in a society so wedded to the car. As the baby boom generation nears retirement age, the number of older drivers on our roads will more than double, increasing the urgency for action on this issue. Despite the formidable length of time required to create major transportation system improvements, society is just beginning to recognize the pressing need to create alternatives to the car for those who can no longer drive.